Although there’s a lot of information about the UX design (user experience design) on the Internet, still only a rare person understands clearly, what is it that the UX designers do and why UX design is important.. This is because the precise determination of the profession is not yet developed. UX includes a number of disciplines: visual design, information organization, content strategy, interaction design, user behavior research, and others. Sometimes the UX designer focuses on one of them, sometimes on some or even all at once. Their duties vary from company to company, depending on experience and skills. Some specialists come into the professional UI/UX design from the contiguous design fields, some from the development. But the main thing that unites all the UX designers is the belief that user interests are above all else, including the product’s price.
What are the UX designer responsibilities?
1. Information Architecture
The duties of the UX designer include the development of the project’s information architecture (IA). In short, IA is the product information scheme. Measurable indicators of quality of IA should be very specific - the speed of information location and its quality. Product’s IA must respond to its corporate culture and strategy while staying in line with its purpose and user behavior scripts.
The main problems solved by the information architecture:
• Definition of user goals and ways to achieve them through the product;
• Definition of the user transition paths inside of the application;
• Definition of the program modules’ apprehensiveness;
• Definition of the product’s market positioning.
The development of the information architecture is at the heart of the perfect UX design. At the level of a whole website or application, the information architecture determines how the data should be placed on each page, and how to tie the pages together. For example, the sitemap relates to IA. At the level of individual page layout, the information architecture ensures that the data build is logically grouped and interrelated.
2. Interaction design
Interaction design is called the impact on the perceptions and behavior of users by creation and mutual coordination of the elements that affect the user experience of interaction with a particular product.
Depending on the product’s specific, the point of equilibrium can be shifted in either direction. For a child's toy, a balance between the logical and emotional sides will differ from that of the application for the conducting of the clinic medical records. Designing a product without understanding the importance of both sides is a sure way to miss the opportunity to create a truly memorable experience of interaction with the corresponding benefits to the company.
Read also: cost to design an app
Usability is the ease of using and mastering the object created by man. This concept is directly related to the reasons for which we are engaged in designing interfaces, as usability has a positive effect on the user experience. The easier it is to learn and use the product, the better the user experience. However, the product should not only be easy to use - it should solve the customer’s problems. And in most cases, the work of UX designer is to find out what kinds of problems users need to solve.
4. Graphic Design
Graphic and visual design is the product’s looks, its personality, if you will, its brand. It is an important element of the communication between the product and the user. It is a link to the product’s interactivity, its elements, and information architecture - and it does not matter whether it is a desktop, web or mobile app.
5. Prototyping and Testing
Prototyping is the layout creation of a single page or a whole product using the schematic and conditional elements. In fact, the very prototype is a sketch, rough draft, with no place for beautiful pictures. It is created before the start of experience design process and coding. Prototype saves time and costs. To show the client a tentative version of the interface, to conduct A/B-testing and make changes, it is not necessary to program and draw, a schematic image is enough to test the basic ideas.
Prototyping offers many ways to increase the efficiency of the development process. If used properly, it can significantly reduce misunderstandings about the design decisions, facilitate the perception of functionality and decrease the number of necessary documentation. The custom prototype also allows to have though limited, but still a working version of the product, which gives a whole team the opportunity to assess what has been designed well, and what no.
Read also: 5 Best Prototyping Tools
One of the most important and valuable tools of the UX designer is A/B-testing. A/B-testing also known as split testing is a marketing tool that helps to choose the best control sample out of several options. The method consists of comparing the user response to the variations of interface elements.
Split testing allows determining the most advantageous strategy of display elements to improve the efficiency of interaction between the product and the target audience.
Finally, we present the notorious principles of good UX design process that we carried out from many years of experience in the development of mobile applications and websites business.
5 Fundamental UX Design Principles:
1. Compliance with the KISS principle (keep it short and simple).
Simplicity and ease of usage never ceased to be one of the major trends in mobile UX design. Moreover, the so-called "friendliness" to the user is a very important requirement in the development of the good app design.
Refusal of additional decorative elements radically simplifies navigation and focuses the user's attention. The interface should be simple and clear, the problem should be dealt with a minimum number of actions, design for mobile should be fine and obvious.
2. Focus on content.
One of the most important UX design steps is the content focus. Content should always come first. It should be presented in the best way. For example, if the application is commercial or sells any goods, they must be shown from different angles and optimized so that users can easily review all the details.
3. Intuitive navigation.
The application interface must be designed so that users transit from one stage to another without much thought. The passage between all sections of the application must be as simple as possible. The fewer elements user sees the better. Unwanted or unnecessary information is distracting and annoying users, which affects the user experience.
4. Ease of reading.
Modern devices, whether desktops, tablets or smartphones, have screens with resolutions sufficient to use fonts with a large point and big line spacings, which generally improves the text readability and legibility.
5. Style uniformity.
The style of all sections of the site/application should be uniform and homogeneous. The uniform interface is the perfect way to cut training, through which people must pass using the product. The interface seriality can be achieved in many ways, such as color, direction, behavior, location, size, shape, markings, and language.
Usage of the UX design principles allows designers to create comfortable and beautiful user interfaces. Today, users need just a few seconds to decide whether they like the application or not, so not only the beautiful "wrapper" should be taken care of, but also the user experience. Proper application of the product design principles will help to observe the deadlines and to present the product in the most favorable light for startup and individual entrepreneur alike.
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